Growing up, I was jealous of the girls next door. On Christmas morning, they got to rip into ALL of their presents the moment they awoke. I had to wait for my mom to make brunch, then for everyone to open together. One gift at a time.
It was painful, especially the year I was hoping for a red princess telephone. (The blue gym mat was a bit more obvious.) Thank goodness there was a jam-packed stocking to take me through the morning.
It hung in the same place every year, on a 1970s chiseled wood-screen next to a sliding glass door out to the pool. (Growing up in Florida, chimneys were hard to come by.) It bulged right out of its stocking shape, full of promise and then amazing little things: Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers, nail polish, blank books, crazy pens and pencils, stickers, Smurfs, marzipan from Mr. Dunderbak's.
I carried my stocking through the apartment moves of my 20s and 30s. I even got married and got a tree. And had a baby. But somehow, the stocking stayed packed away. My husband, who didn't grow up with a Christmas stocking tradition, even had one. Finally this year, with that baby now 2.5 and another one just about to crawl, the stockings are hung. By the chimney with care.
But it didn't really occur to me to make sure they were well-stuffed until about a two weeks ago, when I was talking to a girlfriend. "Oh, the stocking is my favourite part! I've trained David very well, and he now makes me a great one." I had forgotten a big part of my Christmas tradition. I started shopping.
So what makes a perfect stocking? Let's be inspired by The Inconsistent Cook, who is clearly an expert in the field.
"Did I say stocking? I meant pillowcase with the stocking pinned to the outside.
Moisturiser, toner, cleanser, luxury soap
Something sparkly wearable (hint: jewelry)
Take That, Robbie Williams, Bon Jovi's Greatest Hits, Michael Bublé, and Michael Jackson CDs
Toy Story 3 DVD
Aga Lid covers
Perfume (could be the main pressie)
Mini gardening set (I want the trowel and gloves)
He always puts in something silly & something very thoughtful
Bed sox (romantic, eh?)
Books: Maeve Binchy, Maureen Lipman James Patterson
That is all, indeed. Not sure we'll be up to scratch this year, but filling the perfect stocking is a quest, and one I'm happy to start.